Maranello – Last weekend saw the Zandvoort circuit host the fourth round of the German ADAC Formula 4 championship and initial signs were that Gianluca Petecof was in for a competitive weekend. The 16 year old Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) Brazilian was third in qualifying for Race-1 and took pole for Race-2.
High winds. Bad weather, with high winds and light rain delayed the start of Race-1. At the end of the sighting lap, several drivers came in to the pits to switch to slicks, which Petecof did after the opening two laps, when lying third. The Brazilian rejoined in seventh place, making the most of the restarts after two safety car periods, to eventually take the flag in fifth place.
Race-2. There was a more normal start to the second race, but Petecof dropped to second going into Tarzan corner and a lead trio broke away made up of the leader Paul Aron, Petecof and Dennis Hauger. At half distance, the Norwegian tried to pass Petecof down the inside at Tarzan. The two cars collided and Hauger spun. Gianluca managed to keep going in second place, but the Stewards gave him a drive through penalty for having caused the incident with Hauger and that dropped him to eleventh, which is where he finished the race.
Race-3. The result of Race-2 set the grid for Race-3, which turned out to be a short one for Petecof. Immediately after the start, coming out of Tarzan, several cars collided and the Brazilian had to retire with broken front suspension.
Disappointment. “Overall, this was a disappointing weekend,” commented Petecof, “especially looking at how well qualifying went. In the first race, we did the best we could considering the weather, but I can’t say I agree with the penalty I was given in Race-2. It cost me a podium finish and on top of that there was the collision that put me out of Race-3, so I leave Zandvoort have dropped down the championship order. It’s not what we wanted and I reckon the result does not reflect the potential we showed on track. All the same, I want to look ahead, as even in Zandvoort, it was clear we were very competitive, so I can’t wait to be back on track next weekend at the Nurburgring, to fight back right away.”